Electing Trump: What Happens Then? Pt 3

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There are tens of millions of Americans who, although personally lacking the self-confidence, ambition and leadership qualities of authoritarian dominators like [Newt] Gingrich or Sarah Palin, nevertheless empower the latter to achieve their goals while finding psychological fulfillment in subordination to a cause. [Robert] Altemeyer describes these persons as authoritarian followers. They are socially rigid, highly conventional and strongly intolerant personalities, who, absent any self-directed goals, seek achievement and satisfaction by losing themselves in a movement greater than themselves. One finds them overrepresented in reactionary political movements, fundamentalist sects and leader cults like scientology…. Probably about 20 to 25 percent of the adult American population is so right-wing authoritarian, so scared, so self-righteous, so ill-informed and so dogmatic that nothing you can say or do will change their minds. [citing Altemeyer] They would march America into a dictatorship and probably feel that things had improved as a result…. And they are so submissive to their leaders that they will believe and do virtually anything they are told. They are not going to let up and they are not going away.

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Looking Left and Right: Different Choices? Pt 4

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In my last two posts, I’ve shared quotes/comments from the essayThe Essence of Conservatism” by conservative icon Russell Kirk. As previously noted, there are a number of additional explanations for and about the foundations of the conservative personality worth considering as well. Current events make clear that Kirk’s understandings are still as valid today as they were decades ago when first shared. [Quotes that follow are all from the referenced essay.]

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Looking Left and Right: Our Best Choices? Pt 5

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Following up on last week’s post:

[A]uthoritarians are known to be high on the need for closure, yet another trait thats linked to defensiveness and biased reasoning. The need for closure, notes Arie Kruglanski, means being more likely to look for belief affirmation (confirmation bias). It also means being more likely to defend one’s existing beliefs, to lash out against challenges to those beliefs (disconfirmation bias), and to persist in beliefs in the face of challenge. *

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